Tuesday, September 30, 2003

More news from the Virginia Forum for Excellence

Back from the conference; very worthwhile.

I attended Chris W.'s session on collaborative organizational assessments using a Baldrige-based criteria. Yeh, some of us might have thought it was familiar. Chris did a great job telling our story. I think it got folks to think about alternatives to application-based assessments.

Also attended the awards ceremony. There was recognition of former award recipients, including the Coast Guard Finance Center. And, the ceremony highlighted this year's recipients. Of note, there were no "medallion" recipients, the highest level of SPQA recognition. There were two recipients of the Plaque for Progress in Performance Excellence:

The awards ceremony was very nice (the meal was great... okay, it was chicken, but I happen to love chicken... with a dark sauce, mashed potatoes, veggies... and wonderful carrot cake) although a little subdued. I was sitting with a friend of mine from graduate school (okay, we will not talk about how long ago that was); her organization, Prince William County's Department of Social Services, received the plaque last year. She commented that last year with every announcement there were hoots & howls; each recipient had brought lots of folks from the organization. She said PWC DSS brought more than 30 people last year (even this year, with the organization not receiving and recognition, they brought nearly a dozen folks).

The recipient organizations appeared to have brought only a few people this year -- the senior leaders. You know what this tells me: that these organizations haven't really driven and understanding and excitement of the Criteria down into the organization: only the senior leaders really care.

I think this is emblematic of many award applicants: that we really haven't figured out a way to get this down into the organization. Sure, our CPC process is a great start with this. But if we do the CPC with just the senior leaders, we haven't driven down into the organization to get a broad understanding of the Criteria.

With round two of the CPC's, perhaps it might be right in certain units to do a cross-functional/cross-level CPC: have key people from different levels of the organization partipate in the collaborative assessement.

One of the earlies facilitated self-assessments done in the Coast Guard was in the spring of 1977 at SUPRTCEN E-City as they were participating in the mandatary, MLCA-mandated, Baldrige-based self assessment. We were using the full Criteria (and I'm not saying we go back to that), but the group brought together for the self-assessment was from all levels of the organization and included petty officers and members of the Chief's Mess and the Ward Room. Open discussion. And a learning by all.

I've participated in other cross-functional assessments, and every time it has worked well. Now, this isn't to say it's appropriate every time. If a unit's senior leadership has no understanding of the Criteria, I'm not sure I'd go with a cross-functional group; I'd stay with the senior leaders.

Second thought: do cascading collaborative assessments. This would take more time, but do faciliated assessments at all levels of the organization. First for the unit, then with divisions, and then, maybe with branches.

The follow-up would be the deployment of cascading 2-4-7 throughout the organization.

Your thoughts? Post here, or drop me a line.

News from the Virginia Forum for Excellence

Lots of great ideas floating around here... want to get a few blogged before I forget...

First, I encourage everyone to take advantage of their state performance excellence opportunities.

Today two excellent plenary sessions. The first with Dr. William Bosher who gave a funny, stand-up talk about the Criteria... but more importantly how the Criteria fits with life... an interesting and long-time educator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dr. Bosher is now the Dean of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. His key message: what happens in your personal life is most important; start with excellence with self and at home. Focus on leaving a legacy; it is long-term commitment.

And, Richter, it's all about relationships, at least from what Dr. Bosher said. He sprinkled his talk with stories about his life. They were all amusing, all personal, and all related back to some element of the Criteria. He told this great story about running a 5-mile race years ago in Richmond. His son (who's now a grown man) ran with him. After about 2 miles, Dr. Bosher didn't think he could go on; he told his son to complete the race without him. His son ran off, and Dr. Bosher continued to diesel along, slow and steady, never having run more than 2 miles before in his life. When he got to mile 4, his 12-year-old son had finished the race and returned to run with his dad. Dr. Bosher finished the 5-miles, in large measure because his son "carried" him the last mile, not with words, but with actions.

We also heard form Mary Musacchia, Counsel to the President of SAS, the software firm. Her inspiring talk showed that almost anything is possible when you nurture people to succeed. Her key point: commitment by senior leadership is paramount. Without firm commitment by senior leadership, all will ultimately fail. This commitment must be by words and actions and demonstrated to employees and customers. And, decisions by senior leaders ought to be data driven -- senior leaders should make information-based decisions.

News from the SPQA

Evening before the Virginia Performance Excellence conference... met up with Chris W. and Mark S. for dinner and socializing; fun time, particularly to catch up on Mark's time with Booz Allen. Ask Chris and Mark about the hot wings & milk (although, it was probably funnier to actually be in attendance than to hear the story some time after).

Monday, September 29, 2003

What's a generic CPC?

Okay, I'm confused, David (and whomever else is lurking here at lantbec.blogspot.com)... what the bloom'n blazes is a "generic CPC." Isn't the value of the CPC that it provides an actual unit with actual feedback on an actual self-assessment. You're usually on the cutting edge, Dave, so I'm assuming I've missed some key component that will make it all seem so obvious (I am a bit of a dullard, I know).


Friday, September 26, 2003

Skeptics? ... Try this: Executives are beginning to blog

Okay, I know we have a slew of skeptics out there in QPC-land. I came across this article from The New York Times. Thought it was interesting, particularly in light of the earlier article from The Harvard Business Review I stole off Mike's desk. ((And, yes, Mike, I still have it; I'm holding it hostage here at Club 137; it's buried under mounds of unopened mail.))

We might be on the cutting edge of something; just need to figure out how to use it...

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Generic LANTAREA Cutter CPC?

Does the message below also address two recurring themes from our time in Boulder: (1) the lack of perceived programmatic direction for units from higher authority and (2) a fuzziness around outcome measures at the program level.
-----Original Message-----
From: Patlak, David
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 3:47 PM
To: Murakami, Mark LCDR
Cc: Yacus Ph.D., George; Stinson, Peter; McGrath, Michael LT; McGrath, Michael LT; Sutton, Paul CWO; Dow, Jeffrey LCDR; Hawthorne, Jay CDR; Montgomery, Simone LT
Subject: RE: Commandant's Quality Award (CQA)


I left a voicemail with our LANTAREA QPC Coordinator, Dr. George Yacus to attempt track down LANTAREA's Strategic Plan.

I attended the USCG QPC Conference last week, where I successfully negotiated to allow CONFIDENCE into the CQA process. At the conference, we discussed conducting a generic Commandant's Performance Challenge (CPC) for major cutters with LANTAREA Cutter Staff and possibly another at COMDT (G-O) with output to include the measures and results that operational units could produce in alignment with OPCON/TACON. We would need to include the operational unit representation in the generic cutter CPC and I wonder if CONFIDENCE is interested?

Very Respectfully,
Dave Patlak
D7 Quality Performance Consultant / USCG Coordinator for the 2003 Tri-County CFC
(305) 415-6719
Visit D7U:
"The best way to predict the future is to help create it"

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

A notion for “performance outcome” workshop

Our young presenters from The Performance Institute got me thinking about the intersection of two recurring themes from our time in Boulder: (1) the lack of perceived programmatic direction for units from higher authority and (2) a fuzziness around outcome measures at the program level.

I’d like to propose the following workshop idea and get your feedback & thoughts. I’ve written this as if MLCA is the sponsoring organization, but it would fit, I think, with any mid-operational command sponsoring.

Creating Programmatic Outcome Measures:

MLCA will sponsor a 1-day introductory workshop, “Creating Programmatic Outcome Measures” for interested program managers at MLCA, LANT, and D5. While the Coast Guard has embraced a number of strategic planning and management tools and processes, sometimes we have ignored outcome measures which can help drive performance. This workshop will provide program managers with a broad overview of outcome measures and introduce a method for developing outcome measures which can be used for performance management. The model supports the Commandant’s Performance Excellence Criteria and fits with the use of a balanced scorecard.

This workshop is appropriate for Program Managers – at MLCA, LANT, and D5 – who want to improve their program management through the use of an outcome-based systematic paradigm.

Additional thoughts on form and content:
-- Workshop setting… informal… roll-up sleeves kinda thing
-- Likely fairly small… anticipate minimal interest for first session, likely no more than 6 participants.
-- Marry content to that which we are already doing (such as CPEC, BSC, etc)

Rough agenda:
-- Purpose of session… what’s in it for program managers/value/why do this/include here cry from subordinate units for defined program outcomes
-- Introductions & “Burning Platform” exercise
-- Definition of outcome measure
-- CPEC overview & how this fits with CPEC (no more than 20 minutes… very broad/high-level)
-- Broad overview of BSC (use the chart on page 32 of Niven’s BSC book)
-- Develop outcome statement based on mission
-- Develop two intermediate goals
-- Define measures for both (/)
-- Fit to 2-4-7 model

Your thoughts? Feel free to blog here or send me an email.

Conference locations for September 2004

Well, I came across this article and decided that since we landed No. 1 this year, we ought to just move on down the list.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

So, Stinson, just what were you smoking when you dreamed up this blog?

Good question, and one which I was asked today (okay, George asked it in a much nicer way). I stole a copy of the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW off Michael's desk. The issue had a case study on blogging (you can read the summary by clicking here).

My hope is we can really use this to increase our communication, to make us more professional & aligned, and to increase our effectiveness. Well, all that and to tell a good sea story every once in a while.

Thoughts on another master's program

I'm excited about the possibilities with the National Graduate School, and I'd like to offer other possible graduate learning opportunties which will benefit the Coast Guard. I've been taking some courses with Touro University International and plan on proposing a new degree program to them. Here's what I'm thinking; I'd love to hear your thoughts about this. So, without further ado, here 'tis...

Proposal for new graduate degree -- Touro University International

M.S., Leadership, Management, and Quality Systems
LMQ 501: Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence
LMQ 503: Project Management, Meeting Facilitation, & Team Dynamics
LMQ 505: Process Management, Problem Solving, & Process Improvement
LMQ 601: Customer and Market Focus
LMQ 603: Leadership Systems
LMQ 605: Organizational Strategic Planning
LMQ 607: Measurement, Information, Analysis, & Knowledge Management
LMQ 609: Business Improvement Methodologies
LMQ 611: Human Resources and High Performing Workplaces
LMQ 621: Business Results

This 40-graduate hour master’s degree will prepare students in higher-level, organizational, systems thinking. The degree program presents a framework for an overarching management system. Students will use a single project throughout the ten courses, forming a single project implemented over the course of the program. The project will be designed to yield substantial results on investment, allowing the student to show measurable results on the implementation of the project.

This degree will use Touro University International’s proven distance-learning model, incorporating compact disks with course materials, use of the internet for reading and research, bi-weekly threaded discussion participation, case studies for course modules, and course session long projects. The session long projects will build on each other, culminating in the master’s level demonstration of project-based results in the final 4-hour course.

LMQ 501: Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence
This course provides an introduction to the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, an overarching leadership and management system used by high performing organizations. Students will learn about the Criteria and how to use the Criteria to create organizational excellence. Students will conduct a high-level assessment of an organization (or business unit) using the Critiera.

LMQ 503: Project Management, Meeting Facilitation, & Team Dynamics
Providing an overview of project management, students will learn a number of tools and techniques to manage and guide projects. In addition, students will learn how to manage and facilitate meetings for teams, staffs, and organizational initiatives. In addition, students will learn about team dynamics, how to harness individual initiative in team, and how to encourage collaboration. The session long project will provide each student the opportunity to facilitate a meeting within their organization and critique their own performance.

LMQ 505: Process Management, Problem Solving, & Process Improvement
This course presents models for process management, problem solving, and process improvement. During the course of the semester, students will use either the problem solving model or process improvement model in a real-world application. This first application will be at a fairly high level of deployment; this project will form the basis for future work for the program.

LMQ 601: Customer and Market Focus
In this course, students will learn how to identify and segment customers and key stakeholders, how to determine customer requirements and expectations, and how to build relationships leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Students will learn about a number of customer listening and learning methods in order to keep organizational needs and directions current. Students will use a customer focus model to enhance satisfaction for a key product or service.

LMQ 603: Leadership Systems
Students will learn about leadership systems which guide organizations. Of note, students will focus on how senior leaders guide the organization in setting values, direction, and performance expectations. This course will also discuss senior leadership “buy in” of organizational change initiatives and the use of a senior leader “champion” in order to bring about positive change.

LMQ 605: Organizational Strategic Planning
This course will present a variety of models for strategic and action planning, deployment of plans, and methods of measuring and sustaining accomplishments. Models discussed will include the Balanced Scorecard approach and the logic mapping approach.

LMQ 607: Measurement, Information, Analysis, & Knowledge Management
Students will learn how to effectively measure and analyze organizational performance. In addition, students will learn how to management organizational knowledge to drive improvement and organizational excellence. Students will learn how to select, manage, and use data and information to drive performance excellence. Students will also learn how to ensure information is accessible by all key users. Students will apply measurement, analysis, and knowledge management to their ongoing project.

LMQ 609: Business Improvement Methodologies
This course will introduce students to Six Sigma, Lean Thinking, and Action Work Outs. Students will learn systematic methods of performance improvement using a data-driven, structured approach to problem solving. Students will apply this knowledge in their session-long project which is linked to the overall master’s project.

LMQ 611: Human Resources and High Performing Workplaces
This course will cover three broad areas necessary to address key human resource practices: work systems, employee learning & motivation, and employee well-being & satisfaction. Students will learn how to approach human resources from an integrated paradigm, aligning actions with organizational strategic objectives.

LMQ 621: Business & Project Results
This course serves as the capstone for the entire master’s program. In this course, students will integrate the work of the previous nine session long projects into a cohesive and systematic whole. Students will present the results of their on-going project to demonstrate results on investment. Results will be shown in key performance and improvement arenas including customer-focused results, product and service results, financial and market results, human resource results, organizational effectiveness results, and governance and social responsibility results. Students will show levels, trends, and comparative data for their project.

Couple of additional thoughts/info: Touro is an online university offering bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorates. You can find them at http://www.tourou.edu/.

First Post: Greetings all...

I'm hoping this blog answers the mail for us (at least partially). In Boulder there was great discussion about learning about the work we each do, sharing our successes and failures, and learning from each other. I've also had a couple of conversations about "managing supervisor & key stakeholder expectations" about my own work, time, accomplishments, and results. My hope is that we can use this blog for all that, and more.